A disaster is currently unfolding at the border in Arizona as the Trump administration shamefully desecrates Native American burial grounds and archaeological sites to make way for a useless wall.
In his desperate effort to build the wall along our border with Mexico, President Donald Trump has authorized the wanton destruction of Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, which also happens to be a UNESCO International Biosphere Reserve.
The extent of the environmental devastation alone is staggering, Center for Biological Diversity’s Laiken Jordahl explained to The Intercept.
“Draining precious groundwater, bulldozing ancient saguaros and plowing over burial grounds isn’t enough. Now they’re literally dynamiting a mountain in protected wilderness lands,” Jordahl said. “Nothing is sacred to them, no amount of destruction too grand. We’re living a nightmare down here in the borderlands.”
In addition to the environmental damage, however, Trump is also desecrating ancient Native American burial grounds, ignoring a variety of federal laws along the way.
A sacred mountain where Native Americans once buried their ancestors is being ruthlessly dynamited by construction crews, destroying their heritage and history and disturbing the remains of the dead.
And that has drawn condemnation from Rep. Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz.) on behalf of the Tohono O’odham Nation.
“It’s right in the path [of destruction],” Grijalva said of the burial ground. “The one indignation of the blasting on the hill is shortly to follow with other indignations and disrespect.”
Grijalva pointed out that the Department of Homeland Security once promised not to develop the area, but are now disrespecting Native American heritage because of Trump.
“DHS had mentioned to the tribes that they would back off on developing the hill, but the work is still being done,” he said. “A historically significant area is going to be changed irreparably. You’re never going to be able to put it back together.”
Indeed, once a mountain is destroyed, the entire landscape will be altered for all time. It will never be the same.
Even after finding bones and artifacts, construction crews continue to work even though the project should rightfully be stopped so that archaeologists and tribal leaders can preserve what they can and move graves respectfully.
“You would think that in a situation like this, that involves human remains, burial sites, bone fragments that are traced and dated a thousand years or more back, that there would be some sensitivity, for lack of a better word, on the part of DHS and the administration,” Grijalva said. “There is none.”
In all, at least 22 archaeological sites are directly threatened by Trump’s wall project, not to mention several endangered species and rare cacti that attract thousands of visitors to the region.
This is yet another national tragedy Trump has wrought upon our nation, and yet another dark chapter in the history of our country’s relationship with indigenous peoples.
Featured image via screen capture
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